Stampede Ventures and UTA today announced the launch of HappyNest, an indie animation production company that will create content geared toward kids and families, naming Sadaf Cohen Muncy as its Head of Development and Production.
HappyNest will draw on the strength of UTA’s animation division—which represents a stable of award-winning creators and next generation stars—helping artists to incubate their ideas through artistic and financial support, and shepherding their concepts through the entire creative process, from development through to production and sales.
The company funded by Stampede Ventures and UTA will look to create IP that can spur new entertainment franchises for kids and families—through the likes of books, games, toys, digital media, and more. Its launch was shepherded by Stampede Ventures founder and CEO Greg Silverman and President Chris Bosco, alongside UTA Partner Gregory McKnight and Motion Picture Literary Agent Anna Berthold-Zuk.
“The concept for HappyNest came together out of an incredible partnership with UTA. At Stampede, our mission has always been to connect us all through our favorite stories,” said Silverman. “To know that, through HappyNest, we will launch content aimed at inspiring and fostering the next generation of stories that connect us, is super gratifying.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the incredible teams at Stampede Ventures and UTA to allow creators and artists a unique opportunity to bring their passion projects to life,” said Muncy. “My objective is to nurture, develop and collaborate with creators, from ideation to final production.
Added Muncy, “As an incubator, we want artists to entrust us with their IP, as we guide and grow their ideas, while allowing them the unconventional ability to maintain creative control and benefit from the financial upside of their brainchild. Spearheading HappyNest is a dream come true and I look forward to making it the go-to destination for creative geniuses who have been yearning for something new.”
Muncy is a veteran of the kids and family animation space who joins HappyNest from MGA Entertainment, where she served as Vice President of Entertainment and as an Executive Producer. During her time at that company, she built its entertainment division from the ground up, developing and producing live-action, animation, and stop-motion content for all MGA brands, including L.O.L. Surprise!, Rainbow High, Bratz, Project Mc2, Little Tikes and Lalaloopsy.
Silverman founded Stampede in 2018 after spending nearly two decades at Warner Bros., where he rose to serve as President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production. Recent credits from his entertainment company include Kelly Oxford’s MTV Studios dramedy Pink Skies Ahead, starring Jessica Barden, and the HBO Max comedy special Mo Willems & the Storytime All-Stars Present: Don’t Let The Pigeon Do Storytime!. Stampede also recently inked an international first-look deal with CBS Studios.
UTA is global talent, entertainment, and sports company representing high-profile figures across film, television, news, music, sports, speakers, theater, fine art, literature, video games, animation, podcasts, and other social and digital content.
The deal for HappyNest was negotiated by UTA and Bosco from Stampede Ventures. Outside counsel for UTA was led by David Eisman at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates, and Kenneth Deutsch and David Zaheer at Latham & Watkins LLP for Stampede Ventures.
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